Graduate studies may become a process that is isolating and daunting, even when one is enmeshed in thinking of the ‘social’. Especially traditional ethnography that relies on researchers to individually immerse themselves into their fields, and presupposes a modern subject who ‘enters’ into a different world to bring the knowledge of those lands into the academy. This practice has long been under scrutiny, and is losing prominence; other ways of constructing knowledge are getting wider recognition. However, the image of an isolated modern ‘seeker of truth’ still informs the imaginaries that travel within the culture of academics. As sociology and anthropology students, we are aware of this myth, and would like to create a space to potentiate subversion of these images. We are concerned, and need a space to work out our concerns; to think about our thinking; and to create lines of support and solidarity. In this high-speed culture, it may become hard to find the human networks through which we could reflect on our thinking and let out our inarticulate thoughts; let alone encountering other schools of thought that would contribute to our work through criticism. So, we would like to create a pocket in spacetime where people can bring out their confused thoughts to be untangled in a safe and supporting environment. This practice would demystify the knowledge-production process, and remind us that knowledge is a collective entity, and not the work of a mythical creature that occupies our mindspace as the isolated ‘genuis’. Even the “genius” mind is constructed collectively.
Our group “Thinking in SpaceTime” will start its series by discussing ethnography methodologies. There will not be a strict structure to these meetings, just human bodies gathered to converse with one another.
We will meet bi-weekly in EV 10.625 on Thursdays from 5-7pm beginning April 13th, 2017. This will be open to graduate students. We invite you to bring snacks and drinks.
"You can't both think about something and also reflect on your own thinking about the matter. This is because you need to make a choice between two complementary situations: either you think about something, in which case that something is the object of your thoughts, or you examine your process of thinking about something, in which case your thoughts about what you are thinking (about something), and not the something itself, are the object of your thoughts" (Barad, 2007, p.21)
Ethnography lab & living gallery EV.Building, 10.625, Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology, Sir George Williams Campus, Concordia University, 1515 Rue Sainte-Catherine O, Montréal, QC